Nominations are now open for the 2008 award for most politically inept person in Maine. Try to be somewhat original with your vote. If everybody casts a ballot for Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, this isn’t going to be any fun. Also, no group nominations. I can appreciate the logic of writing in “all Republican legislative candidates” or “the Portland City Council” or “every single person registered to vote in Androscoggin County,” but the rules limit this contest to specific individuals.
Here come the early returns.
Portland state Sen. Ethan Strimling is receiving a lot more support in this race than he did in his recent bid for the 1st Congressional District nomination. That candidacy has been declared a Democratic disaster area, making Strimling eligible for federal aid to reconstruct his public image.
Michael Heath, executive director of the Christian Civic League, is polling far better than his aborted anti-gay petition drive, possibly because, for the only time in his career, Heath is attracting support from rational people.
There’s also a significant showing for Laurie Dobson, the independent who failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot this fall as a U.S. Senate candidate, but who insists her name belongs there anyway, because ballot-access laws are the tools of the imperialist two-party system. To prove she’s right, I’m declaring her ineligible for this ballot.
There are also solid tallies for Maine Secretary of State Matthew “I Love Illegal Immigrants” Dunlap, state Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda “Our Computer Will Be Fixed This Century – Or Next” Harvey, Bangor state Sen. Joe “Let’s Raise Corporate Taxes To Improve The Business Climate” Perry and the Maine Turnpike Authority (motto: “Our New Toll Plaza Will Cost More Than Your New High School, Nyah, Nyah, Nee, Nyah, Nyah”), which is exempt from the no-group-nomination rule because the entire organization shares a single, rather puny brain.
The polls are now closed. And here are the results. The person in Maine who takes to politics like Don Imus takes to sensitivity training is:
Never heard of him? Lucky you. You’re also probably wondering how an unknown chump could beat so many famous incompetents. The answer is simple:
I faked the vote.
If I hadn’t stuffed the ballot box, Carey wouldn’t have won. That’s right, he’s such a boob at politics that he couldn’t even win an election in which the determining factor was his degree of boobosity. Which just proves he deserves the title.
Carey is the lawyer (extra points) from Rumford (double points), who’s running the referendum campaign for a casino in Oxford County (mega-points).
At least, he is this week. A lawyer, I mean. And the campaign leader. Those roles are subject to change.
Carey is currently awaiting a hearing before a justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on whether his license to practice law should be suspended or revoked. He’s facing complaints from three lawyers and two judges questioning his ethics and competence. As a result of these allegations (and a charge of simple assault, since dropped), Carey announced in April that he was stepping down as leader of the casino campaign and as president of Evergreen Mountain Enterprises, the company that would own the gambling emporium.
In May, he’s reported to have told the Board of Overseers of the Bar, “I am a young and sometimes naïve idealist. I was thinking with my heart and not my head.”
Whatever part of his body Carey uses for cognitive functions, it must be accustomed to sudden shifts. As of July 7, he’s once again officially heading both Evergreen and the casino campaign. Unofficially, of course, he never left either post. In spite of repeated statements by Carey’s spokesperson, Pat LaMarche (there’s a name that often comes up, when the conversation turns to political ineptness), that a new Evergreen president and campaign chairman would be named momentarily, the months slipped by with no such announcement. In the meantime, Carey ran things behind the scenes.
“It’s still my baby and I’ve sacrificed a lot for it,” he told the Lewiston Sun Journal, after dropping the pretense that he’d ever stepped aside. “I will see it to the end.”
The end may be near.
A poll released last week shows the casino losing in a landslide. And once the public learns the details of Carey’s scheme to make himself rich, it can only get worse. His referendum would remove most of the state’s current limits on gaming as they apply to his Oxford County House of Improbable Odds. It would also reduce the minimum age for gambling from 21 to 19. In addition, Carey wants a monopoly. If his legislation is approved by voters, he’d be granted a 10-year exclusive right to operate a casino in Maine.
There’s more foolishness hidden behind this referendum question, language Carey apparently doesn’t think anybody will notice. He’s wrong about that.
But then, he mostly is.
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